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How to lean into discomfort and take action

April 11, 2024 3 min read

How to lean into discomfort and take action

“We can be grateful for the experiences that make us uncomfortable because they reveal hidden lessons and opportunities for growth.” - Gabby Bernstein
If we think we’re going to take action and it’s not going to be uncomfortable, then we’re not living in reality. Action will create discomfort, but the best news is discomfort is an amazing teacher.  We have to give attention to the discomfort in order to grow. 

Discomfort = growth. 
No discomfort = no growth. 

I know that it's hard to be uncomfortable, so I've created a process for you to work through so that you can sit with your discomfort and still have the ability to move forward.

5 step process to lean into discomfort

1. Where do I feel discomfort in my body?
2. What do I think this discomfort is teaching me? 
3. Is my discomfort coming from a place of love or fear?

Example of love based discomfort: 

Love:  You know your action is needed, but there are feelings of nervousness or being unsure.  Some level of discomfort, but you are still wanting to take action. 

I know what I’m here to offer the world and I’m so nervous when I think about taking action to speak on my unit about selfcare, however, I love my coworkers and I know they need this. I will act in spite offear (might be confusing to use word fear here...but I know why you’re saying it). I will take action in spite of feeling nervous.

Love based discomfort is more than likely still telling you to move forward. 

Example of fear based discomfort: 

Fear:  Lack, scarcity, “Because I should do this”, “This is what is expected of me”, guilt, shame, etc.

That person I thought I’m dating makes me feel inadequate and insecure, the only reason I want to be with them is fear based - I’m afraid to be alone. This is when I need to take a different approach and not move forward.

If you are feeling fearful and your discomfort is coming from this place then this is probably a  warning sign. What is this telling you and teaching you?  We can still move forward in fear, and often need to. Or maybe we need to retreat? Take time to really discern and be honest with yourself about this fear. Our brains want to keep us safe, so sometimes what we think is fear is really just nerves, or feelings of being unsure.    

Whether we need to move forward or retreat, discomfort is speaking loudly to us, and no matter what decision we make we can be sure that we will receive a very valuable lesson.

4. Talk to your discomfort out loud.

With your hand placed over the location in your body where you feel said discomfort, talk to it out loud. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between your best friend telling you or you telling you!

Example: I would place my hand over my heart and say, “Cat you are safe to open your heart. You are allowed to be vulnerable and you deserve an amazing partner and out of this world love. You feel, that’s ok. The discomfort is just telling you that care and that’s ok. You love yourself and you will make decisions that align with love.”

5. Now we align feelings with action!

This is the most important part! 

Feel the feeling of what you want - the action already being done, how would you feel if that happened? See yourself giving the speech, starting the IV, doing the social media post then act. 

When was a time in your life you experienced something and felt the feelings you want to feel now in this moment, around this action?  If you have trouble feeling the feeling then go to that memory. Use those feelings from that moment to propel you forward into action.  

Begin your action from this place. 

What is one action you can take that will move you closer to the outcome you want? 

Moral of the story: 

Talk to your discomfort. It’s an amazing teacher although, painful. Once we learn to dance with discomfort we are UNSTOPPABLE!

xo, Cat (founder + CEO of Nurses Inspire Nurses)

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